When That’s the Spirit was released in 2015, everyone who didn’t favor it immediately labeled Bring Me The Horizon soft. Those who did, called them brave—brave to leap out of their Deathcore upbringing and develop a fantastic radio-friendly but still hard record. Now with the release of amo(Sony Music / RCA) the Sheffield natives have courageously created their boldest, bravest record to date.
The simple synth line in opener ‘i’m sorry if you feel something’ unapologetically welcomes you. It’s ominous and completely different but sets the tone overall for the album, an album that will not be shy of the magic synthesizers can produce. The intro quickly transitions into ‘MANTRA,’ with the gritty guitars and faster drums reminiscent of their rockier background. It is assembled neatly in a stomp and go melody with Oliver Sykes‘signature growl featured sporadically. The first surprise twist in this album comes in with ‘nihilist blues.’ Featuring Synth Pop singer Grimes, the track is a Euro-pop tune embezzled with rhythmic synthesizers and a catchy chorus. If you have ever been to their shows you know this track will be a treat live.
BMTH is no stranger to catchy choruses— the chorus in ‘in the dark’ will stay with you as the electro-Pop sizzles throughout the song. ‘wonderful life’ features Cradle Of Filth’s Dani Filth in a bold statement that will have you dancing and clapping your hands with its joyous breakdown.
The production in the interlude ‘ouch’ is constructed in a multiplex beat riding a piano-based melody and synths all of which sets you up for ‘medicine’—a commercially pleasing track that is Pop Rock at its finest. If catchy choruses are the main ingredient for a successful album, ‘sugar’ is riding that wave right. ‘why you gotta kick me when i’m down’ starts off slow then gyrates to this steady, dark synth alongside Sykes’ staccato and a chorus resembling That’s The Spirit.
‘fresh bruises’ is another instrumental where the musicianship of this band shines at their best. The production here is superb—BMTH has really grown out of their Warped Tour days and become the GRAMMY nominees they deserve to be.
‘mother tongues’ lighthearted chorus serves as a radio hit. and is followed by the most controversial track, ‘heavy metal’, which starts off energetically, with lyrics predicting the online storm their newer direction is going to cause, before settling into a breakdown that is accompanied by the subtle input by rapper and former The Roots member, Razhel. His beat-boxing here is done keenly.
‘i don’t know what to say’ wraps up amo like no other BMTH record has. They continue to push through instrumentals and intense melodies and the way they have experiment even more on this track specifically leaves you wondering what else can this band come up with.
BMTH was prominent a prominent name from the beginning of their career, causing outrage even before they had broken through the ranks. But That’s the Spiritwas the dramatic change that the band embraced when leader Sykes was going through his worst. At his best, Sykes and company have created their most diverse effort. They add new Pop elements and have explored their limits without ignoring their roots. They are controlling every step of their future and those who appreciate them as artists should embrace this record for the sonic evolution it is for them.
8 / 10